NAIROBI, Kenya, March 25 – Kenya has made remarkable progress in the use of family planning, this is according to the Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) survey conducted in 11 counties which revealed the use of modern contraceptive methods increased from 56 percent in 2019 to 61 percent in 2020.
The survey conducted between November and December 2020 by the International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH) in partnership with other government agencies noted that the increased use of contraceptives led to a decline in unintended pregnancy from 42 to 37 per cent over the same period.
“In 2020, 28 percent of the pregnancies were wanted later while 10 percent of women wanted no more children, about 3 in every 10 nonusers intend to use contraception in the next 12 months.” the survey noted.
The principal investigator of the survey Prof. Peter Gichangi noted that out of the 9,000 respondents interviewed, 44 percent reported having received information before using family planning methods while 57 percent said they did not receive any information.
“Such information includes possible side effects or problems, where to go if and when they experience them, other family planning methods available apart from the one they were getting, and whether they could change,” Mary Thiong’o, PMA Kenya Senior Technical Advisor at ICRH Kenya pointed out.
The survey, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, further noted that 78 percent of the respondents said they involved their partners before using the contraceptives while 22 percent who are mainly adolescents said they did not involve their partners.
“What the government has put in place is bearing fruits, we are able to see an increase in the use of contraceptives and decrease in unintended pregnancies, this is not one agency, it’s a multi-agency interaction which has seen the country make progress,” Prof. Gichangi said.
Despite the presence of COVID-19 which disrupted health services, the survey noted that women still sought emergency contraception, condoms, pills, injections, and implants to delay or space pregnancy.
“The most popular method for the unmarried woman, the survey showed is, male condoms (29 per cent), the injectable and implants (both at 26 per cent). The married woman on the other hand preferred injectable (39 per cent) and implants (37 per cent),” the survey added.
Seventy-two percent of public health facilities reported having sufficient stocks of Implants, 87 percent had sufficient pills stock while 90 pc had stocked male condoms
70 percent cited delay in delivery of stock as the reason for insufficient stocks while only 1.2 percent attributed their insufficient stock to the coronavirus pandemic.
During the COVID-19 period, 80 pc of health facilities said the family planning services were not affected while only 5.1 pc said they could not offer family planning services.